There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas when food, specifically carbohydrates, are digested and absorbed into the blood stream. For an individual with type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels get dangerously high as there is no insulin present to help lower them. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and occurs when your body does not use insulin properly to help maintain healthy healthy blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes & Blood Glucose Monitoring
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you will want to ensure that you monitor your blood sugar levels carefully in order to avoid complications. Checking your blood sugars daily at home with a glucometer is one way you can do this. The fasting target (when you haven't eaten or had any liquids for eight hours or longer) for patients is between 4mmol/L and 7mmol/L.
Having your A1C levels checked can tell you how well your diabetes management is working. An A1C level provides information about a person's average blood glucose control over the past two to three months. The A1C target for most patients is 7.0% or lower. Keeping your A1C within a normal range can help reduce the complications of diabetes in the future. When these targets are not reached patients put themselves at risk for heart disease, stroke, eye damage, nerve damage and kidney damage.
Type 2 Diabetes & Lifestyle
There are a number of lifestyle considerations for diabetes patients when trying to lower and control blood sugar levels. The first one is to have a healthy meal plan. One benefit of a healthy meal plan can be weight loss for some patients, which can significantly contribute to lowering blood glucose levels and decreasing your risk of developing complications in the future. In combination with a healthy mean plan, daily physical exercise can significantly contribute to overall health and improved blood glucose control. Almost 90% of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese puts added pressure on the body's ability to properly use insulin to control blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
Managing diabetes can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are a lot of factors that patients need to think about on a daily basis and this can affect one’s emotional well being. It’s well known that being stressed can raise blood sugar levels, so it’s important for patients with diabetes to learn some techniques to help reduce stress. Having a healthy meal plan in place, exercising regularly and learning how to manage stress will all contribute to staying healthy.
Talk to your trusted health care professional including your family physcian if you'd like more information on type 2 diabetes.
Visit HealthChoicesFirst.com for more videos and resources on diabetes.
Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider
Check blood sugars daily at home with a glucometer to help avoid complications.
Achieve an A1C target of 7.0% or lower through regular blood glucose monitoring and following a health meal plan.
Increase daily physical activity for improved blood glucose control.
Follow an individualized weight loss plan to reach a healthy body weight to help achieve healthy blood glucose levels.
Learn stress reduction techniques to reduce overall stress and improve emotional well-being.
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose. Type 1 diabetics use insulin to manage their blood sugar, while type 2 diabetics don’t. Proper nutrition, exercise and foot care is key in managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and patients work with an local endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the endocrine glands.